Layan Nasir

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 17 May 2024.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what representations the Church has made to the Israeli government to secure the release of Layan Nasir from administrative detention.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

On 9th April the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, issued the following short statement in response to the news that Layan Nasir, a member of an Anglican congregation in the occupied West Bank, had been arrested by Israeli forces.

“I’m shocked and deeply concerned by this news. Together with our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters, I pray for Layan and her family - and for the congregation of St Peter’s Anglican Church in the Occupied West Bank. Please pray for Layan’s safety and swift release.” The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun, joined the Archbishop’s call for prayers and her release.

On 28th April the Archbishop renewed his appeal for the release of Layan Nasir, who I understand is being held in Damon Prison, in Israel. A spokesperson for Lambeth Palace told Sky News:

“He is deeply concerned to learn that she is now facing administrative detention for four months, without charge and with no due process for her, her family, or lawyers to challenge this. Such processes against what is already a deeply threatened minority are contrary to commitments given over the years. This, along with daily harassment of Christian laity and clergy in East Jerusalem, indicates the predicament that many Christians now face in the West Bank and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As the Occupying Power, the State of Israel is obliged by International Law to protect those at risk.”

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Guli Francis-Dehqani, met with members of the family of Layan Nasir last week during a visit to the Occupies Palestinian Territories. I understand from Church House officials that conversations are ongoing with both the Israeli and the British Government regarding Layan Nasir’s release from administrative detention.

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